Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea

ChocoPies

December21

Chocopies are awesome.


I am having issues with a lot of Korean junk food. Not serious issues, just… minor taste things. ESPECIALLY Korean junk food that’s supposed to taste like American junk food. For the love of God never ever eat Korean cheetoes – they’re this rancid red color, and they taste slightly peppery and nothing like cheese. Other junk food I need to be careful about because a lot of it is squid or lobster flavored. Generally I avoid that by not eating junk food that has a weird cartoon animal on it that I can’t figure out. That’s a pretty safe bet anyway, no matter where you are I think. ChocoPies are different. There is absolutely nothing natural about a ChocoPie. It’s a milk chocolately shell over a cake like interior with a ribbon of marshmellow. I don’t tend to like marshmellows in any form (especially super-processed marshmellows), I’m a snob about my cake, and also I tend to like dark chocolate more than milk, so why do I like ChocoPies? I like them because they’re unabashaedly processed and horrible for you. They are exactly what they look like – chocolate marshmellow cake puff pie things.

I teach until Wednesday then I have no more classes until March. Today I was stopped in the hall by one of my co-teachers and she asked me to visit her class today during 6th period. I teach this class on Fridays so I said already said goodbye to them last week. This particular co-teacher actually isn’t an English teacher, she’s a computer teacher. This is class 2.6 (2nd grade 6th class), and they are my lowest level 2nd grade class (and one of my two super-low level classes). Because of their major, they don’t have time to take a normal English class, so instead of having my English conversation class supplemented by a normal English class where they learn grammar, vocabulary etc,  my class is the only English class they have.

This of course makes this one of the most difficult classes. I know what their speaking ability is but I’m still not entirely sure what they’ve formally learned in a class in terms of grammar or vocab because they haven’t taken a single English class at SGHS (until now). Also my co-teacher for this class is not an English teacher, so though her English is passable she can’t really explain grammar points, and I can’t use difficult terminiology and then rely on her to translate. Anything I teach has to be very clearly laid out using simple vocabulary, or easy enough for her to understand and then translate. I have mastered the art of circumlocution and pantomine. However this also makes it one of my most rewarding classes. Sometimes I feel a little redundant as a native speaker – but in these classes I’m not just the Native Speaker English Teacher – I’m just the English teacher.

They hadn’t known that it was my last day teaching last Friday, so I guess they weren’t quite ready to say goodbye (because though I’ll see them in March I won’t teach them because they’ll be 3rd graders – high school seniors). I go to their classroom and see on the board they’ve drawn a picture of me with balloons and pictures of themselves with a sign that says “WE’LL MISS YOU EMILY! THANK YOU ENGLISH TEACHER!” Unfortunately, today was the one day I didn’t bring my camera to school. I stand staring at the whiteboard for a minute and as I turn to face the class I have a GIANT box of chocopies thrust in my face. Adorning this box are three individually wrapped chocopies on top, and an unwrapped chocopie in the middle of these decorations. I stand there, flabbergasted. The teacher tells them in Korean to “say something” to which they all start stammering in Korean, until a student yells out:

“HAPPY SUPRISE WAOOOWWWW!”

and then I start laughing and he replies “Teacher! Cry!” with a demanding look on his face and I reply “No! Makeup!”

Then we said goodbye.

Man I love ChocoPies.

posted under Cute Stories, School
3 Comments to

“ChocoPies”

  1. Avatar December 21st, 2010 at 7:32 pm M Barron Says:

    Ahahaha! Amazing! I especially like the bit about the unwrapped ChocoPie, and also that he ordered you to cry.


  2. Avatar December 22nd, 2010 at 5:32 pm Dad Says:

    That’s awesome! I promise you that we will bake some Hungarian goodies (butter and cressant cookies, nut rolls, etc.) when you come home for the summer.

    Eager to talk to you via Skype today!

    Love,
    Dad


  3. Avatar December 27th, 2010 at 11:49 am Elisa Says:

    Have you ever heard of moon pies? I think they’re big in the south (I’ve never seen them in groceries around here), but it sounds/looks just like ChocoPies. So don’t worry, you can satisfy your cravings after you get back here too!

    I guess you’re off traveling already, so ENJOY and have a wonderful trip(s)! And congrats on making it through the semester!


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안녕하세요! My name is Emily and when I started this blog I had received a 2010 – 2011 F*lbright grant to teach English in South Korea.  I then decided to apply to renew my grant, so I am now staying in Korea until July 2012. This blog is not an official F*lbright Program blog, and the views expressed are my own and not those of the F*lbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.

I graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a degree in Philosophy Pre-Law and Classical Civilizations, and found myself 3 months later teaching English at SGHS. The town that I taught in, SG, is a small town of 12,000 people, an “읍” (eup) rather than a “시” (shi – city), and though it was sometimes hard teaching in such a small town I really enjoyed the unique experience of being the first foreign teacher SGHS had ever had. I lived in the largest part of the county which is significantly bigger (40,000 people) than the town the school is situated in, but is also considered rural by Korean standards.

During my second grant period (2011-2012) I decided to change schools and I currently teach at CPHS which is located in an even smaller town than previously, in Jeollanamdo.

This blog is meant to serve as a reflection not only of being a Native English Speaking teacher in Korea, but also of living as a foreigner in rural Korea.



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